Why you should care by: OZY

The Potential Oscar film that's too hot for the Nigerian Government.


Because he's getting Oscar buzz for his film … at least the uncensored version

  1. Nigerian government censors have slashed key scenes from the country’s Oscar-contending film, The Milkmaid, for fear of offending Muslims.
  2. Filmmaker Desmond Ovbiagele, a former investment banker, is pressing on hopes that the full film can be seen internationally.

In 2019, Nigeria’s selection for the Best International Feature Film category at the Oscars, Lionheart, was disqualified mid-campaign because it was made predominantly in English.

This year, the selection committee submitted The Milkmaid, a beautifully shot, predominantly Hausa language thriller that follows two sisters who are thrust from their idyllic existence when insurgents attack their village. Critics call it the finest Nigerian film in years.

There’s just one problem. The Nigerian National Film and Video Censors Board isn’t a fan.

After weeks of testy negotiations, the government board approved a toned-down version of The Milkmaid for public screenings that removed about 24 minutes of footage from the director’s original cut, scrubbing any references to religion or hints toward Islam being an enabler of extremism.